As I continue “Just Sitting” – my Zazen practice – I remain intrigued by what it’s doing, yet at the same time trying to be unattached from expectation that anything will come of it. This simple (and not so simple!) opening of the body, spirit and mind connects us directly to Source Energy, God, Spirit and when you think about it, that’s freak’n amazing!! I find myself more aware, looking to see what this silence will bring.
Most of the time I find it difficult not to think, and simply concentrate on my breathing. The mind, the ego will not easily shut up. It does NOT want to give up control! Yet, what a relief it is to stop the incessant chatter within! I can only imagine what this must do to the brain. I can’t help but believe that in the process of this silence of the mind, the brain is literally making new connections. I am convinced that in this silence I am more lined up with Source, and Divine will becomes my will. In this silence the ego is shut up and I somehow feel more directly connected to God – I let go of control. I get out of the way. Maybe that’s what “let go, and let God” means. Normally when I give up control, I find myself, at least apprehensive, if not downright fearful. Yet as a result of this silence I find myself looking forward in hopeful expectation to see what will unfold in my life – and that of the world (because it‘s not just about my life, but affecting the world). Instead of a problem to be solved, life is becoming a Mystery to be lived. I look forward to the journey!
This morning I was reading a bit of Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, which a friend recently gave me. I was reading a section on surrender and I came across a teaching on how to pray, how to ask for what we want. It really struck me. This is what she says: “Instead of, ‘Dear God, please let us fall in love, or please give me this job,’ we say ‘Dear God, my desire, my priority is inner peace. I want the experience of love. I don’t know what would bring that to me. I leave the results of this situation in your hands. I trust your will. May your will be done. Amen.’”
Do you feel the sense of surrender in such a prayer? It’s almost a relief. Instead of asking for this and that, which entails clinging to this or that, the “desire,” the “priority” is living in peace and love – period. How it happens is given to the Universe to work out.
What a great teaching to have in our mind when we have a choice to make. In anything that we do, we could ask the question: “Is what I’m about to do going to help faciliate living in peace and love?” Or is it just immediate gratification?
This morning as I meditated I felt a sense of surrender. My thoughts and my prayer were not centered so much in what I want or need, but in how I could be an expression of the Divine.
So often our prayer can be about what we want or need in life. Ultimately we are an expression of the Eternal or Unmanifested spoken into form. If I am an expression of the Divine, perhaps my emphasis in prayer should be more on how the Divine wants to express itself in my life, rather than how and what I (read – the ego) want the Divine to do in and for me.
It feels good to surrender, to be taken, to allow oneself to enter an adventure – to walk into the unknown, to be lead. There is a sense of ease about surrender. Instead of the work involved in trying to arrange my life as I want it, there is an ease about surrendering and allowing myself to be lead.
The synchronicity of things amazes me sometimes. Just as this sense of surrender was emerging from within, I read this passage in my morning prayer: “We must let ourselves be plowed so that the furrows of our person become deeper and deeper, so that our earth becomes softer and softer” (Jean-Marie Howe, Cistercian Monastic Life/Vows: A Vision, p. 367). Perhaps it is in surrender that I become a softer person and, conversely, perhaps its in running and trying to arrange it all myself that I become hardened.
Perhaps today we could think more about what the Divine wants to do in us, rather than what we want out of the Divine.